Intel just announced their first microprocessor aimed at the gaming market - the Pentium 4 Processor Extreme Edition. The Extreme Edition will be available in the next 30 - 60 days and will run at 3.2GHz.

The major improvement to the Extreme Edition over the current Pentium 4 is the inclusion of an on-die 2MB L3 cache. This on-die L3 cache is in addition to the 512KB L2 cache, giving the Extreme Edition a total of 2.5MB of on-die cache. Note that this is identical to the Xeon MP (Gallatin) core, other than the fact that we're talking about a CPU that runs at 3.2GHz and has an 800MHz FSB.

The 2MB on-die L3 cache takes the Northwood's 55 million transistors and balloons it to an incredible 169 million transistors. We will have some benchmarking time with the Extreme Edition very soon...

Intel's decision to launch this processor a week before AMD's launch of the Athlon 64 should give you an indication of the performance AMD is offering under gaming environments. The integration of an L3 cache will hide some of the latencies of going to main memory, similar to what AMD's on-die memory controller does when compared to conventional PC platforms. Unfortunately, such a large L3 cache increases the die size of the processor significantly, which will be reflected in its price. Given the price of AMD's forthcoming Athlon 64 FX, we'd expect the 3.2GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition to be priced accordingly. We are hearing that the processor will be priced around $740 in 1,000 unit quantities. You can expect systems based on the Extreme Edition processor to be due out in November, but Intel won't be following up with boxed CPUs until the beginning of next year. You will probably see some OEM CPUs for sale in the next 30 days or so.

Intel demos the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition

Given the timing of Prescott's release, we'd say that this CPU is definitely a preemptive attack against AMD's Athlon 64. Let the war begin...

Intel demos the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition



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  • AgaBooga - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    The L3 cache is kind of like what AMD's memory controller does, reduce latencies. For more info, read Anand's post here:
  • Dennis Travis - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    I have always like the way the mouse works better plugged into the PS2 Vs the USB port. I have tried it both ways and USB feels different when I move the pointer real fast. I am sure the motherboard they were using had at least 2 USB ports. Everything does now a days. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    Actually I'd expect "extreme" users to use the PS2 over USB ;) Personally, USB always freezes up my mouse at random times for no apparent reason and it gets really annoying in gaming. Just pump up the ps2 refresh rate to 200hz and it's easily better than usb for mousing cuz USB needs some extra cpu time. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    EE isn't a "normal" xeon tho, xeon MP is only FSB400 this monster is FSB800. Reply
  • Atropine - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    I was wondering what the deal was with the USB to PS/2 adapter. What, no USB ports on the "extreme" gaming PC? Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    #8 YEAH!! hahahaha...that was the first thing i noticed. that is too funny. too extreme for me, i guess ;) Reply
  • Souka - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    Heh, on the first page, the picture with the caption "Intel demos the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition
    " notice how the forground PC is using a USB-to-PS/2 adapter for the mouse? heh....

  • BurntKooshie - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    For what it's worth, the front page says "massive L2 cache" when it should be "massive L3 cache" (at least I assume that's what was meant) Reply
  • dvinnen - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    Cache is over rated in non-data base related tasks. I dought this will add much real world proformance, and by no means close to AMD64.

    Also, about follow ups, this is based off the Xeon MP (which even Toms said was sucky) so I dought there will be any upgrades till a Xeon based off prescott will be released.

    Also, any idea on the thermals of it? It's going to be a huge die size running hella fast.

    And this was announced this morning according to the INQwell.
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    I would keep my eye on this cpu also. But this goes to show that the current 3.2ghz out now stands no chance against an Athlon64 even in Intels eyes =) Reply

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